Bar/Bar Mitzvah Guide:
TWELVE - Facilities Information and Financial Responsibilities

The Celebration

Temple Israel encourages all of its families to host either formal or informal functions within the Temple, using one or more of our facilities. Please keep in mind that the Temple kitchens are strictly kosher, and any food served from the kitchens must meet the Temple's Kashrut and Kitchen Guideline requirements.

Early in the deliberation process, you might want to meet with the Executive Director who will gladly discuss various options with you for your reception. The information provided here is, of necessity, general and will serve only as an outline or guide. You will be able to make more specific decisions after meeting with the Executive Director.

Lists of currently approved caterers, accommodator, bakeries, candy vendors, etc. are available in the Temple office. By definition, any company on these lists can be engaged without further discussion. Because we are committed to making available to our families as many catering choices as possible, that list does expand. We make no recommendations, however the vendors on the catering list have signed an agreement with Temple Israel binding them to guidelines established by our synagogue leadership. BEFORE contracting with any caterer, please contact the Executive Director to ensure that your choice appears on Temple Israel's approved list. Please be assured that if your preferred caterer is not on our list, we will work with that vendor to determine whether he/she might be added. It is in your best interest not to sign a contract with that vendor until approval has been given.

If you decide to hold your reception outside of the Temple, please keep in mind that the Se'udah Shel Mitzvah should be kosher. If you have any questions relating to this, please discuss them with our staff early in the deliberation stages and before you engage a facility.

All plans which affect the Temple's facilities must be discussed with the Executive Director. You will want to do this at a few key points. As questions arise, you should feel welcome to call any time during office hours, or to email at your convenience.

1. Following distribution of simha dates each spring, a family has nine months' priority to reserve any of the Temple's facilities for a celebration. The Temple will send a letter in December preceding the year of thesimha to ask or to confirm rental plans. To make a room reservation, a non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is required for each room being rented. The reservation fee is applicable to the final payment. If no reservation fee is provided within the allotted time-frame, the synagogue is free to schedule another event in its space. Not all families will choose to celebrate in the synagogue, but for planning purposes, we need to know that, too. Some families will want to change their plans after that December letter. Those changes must be discussed immediately with the Executive Director. After that nine-month period, all room reservations are on a first-come basis including use by synagogue events, private functions and non-member rentals. Therefore, early on, it is useful to discuss the possibilities and fees with the Executive Director.

In summer of each year, a Facilities Use Agreement will be sent to those who have provided (a) room reservation fee(s), covering the following twelve month period. The rental charges on that Agreement will have a specified due date. The Agreement will enumerate the rooms being rented, the caterer and all fees appropriate to that event. It is helpful for the family to call the Temple office with this information prior to June 1st of the year of the simha.

Families with Saturday evening, Mincha/Ma'ariv S'machot sometimes engage bands with a great deal of equipment, or party planners who arrange significant set designs or outsized game equipment. It is important that you talk with the Executive Director about these kinds of plans BEFORE committing to them to be certain that there will be adequate storage space or set up time on a particular Shabbat.

As your date approaches, please make an appointment with the Executive Director for the Monday or Tuesday prior to the simha to provide a diagram of your desired room arrangement (Berger Hall floorplan) (Founders' Hall floorplan) and to review a number of facilities items. A final chair count is not needed until the Thursday before the simha. If your celebration will be exceptionally large, you will want to notify the Executive Director well in advance.

2. Please note that other events may be scheduled elsewhere in the Temple during the time of your function.

3. The rental fee for use of (a) specific room(s) includes the use of the room(s) and the kitchen, the presence of a custodian and the use and set up of our tables, chairs and dance floor. The Temple has thirty (30) 60-inch round tables which will seat 8 to 10 people; ten (10) 72-inch round tables which will seat 10 to 12 people; twenty-six (26) 8-foot rectangular tables; twenty-four (24) 6-foot rectangular tables; five (5) 30-inch cocktail tables; four hundred (400) mauve upholstered dining chairs; and one hundred (100) black plastic chairs. The Temple will set up the tables and chairs according to your diagram. This set up will be done once, so it is important that you are fully comfortable with the arrangement before the diagram is submitted to the Executive Director. Your caterer will help you to prepare this diagram. A handling fee of $100.00 is charged when rental chairs are substituted for Temple chairs.

4. Please be aware of the following Temple rules:

  • If a party is held on Shabbat, all rules of Shabbat must be observed by the host and the vendors. 
  • Temple Israel is a smoke free building. 
  • Food or drink is never permitted in the Weissman/Davis Sanctuary or Founders' Hall when it is being used as a chapel. 
  • Decorations of any kind may not be placed on the walls of the Temple, hung from the ceiling, or affixed to the floor. 
  • Lighted decorative candles are not permitted as open flames. Votives with chimney or water-filled bowls are permitted, per the Sharon Fire Department. 
  • Fog/smoke machines are not permitted. These machines will engage the fire alarm. 
  • Popcorn and popcorn machines and cotton candy are not permitted. 
  • Decorative materials such as tinsel, confetti, or snowflake crystals are not permitted. 
  • For a Saturday evening celebration, band equipment may not be brought into the Temple building untilShabbat is over. Band equipment is to be brought into the Temple via the loading dock on Pond Street. 

5. The Temple requires full compliance with all State regulations regarding the serving and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Your caterer will be required to present evidence of a liquor liability policy to the Executive Director. Alcoholic beverages may not be sold at the Temple nor may a tip cup be placed on the bar. Liquor may not be served prior to a service; wine may.

6. Floral arrangements for the bima are not regularly in place. Provision for a bima arrangement is at your discretion. Please remember that flowers must be delivered by 12:00 noon on Friday and flowers cannot be removed from the Temple until Shabbat is over. (Please ask your florist not to use lilies or eucalyptus in the arrangement.) After your simha is over, the Temple encourages you to bring your flowers to homes of ill congregants or to local hospitals or nursing homes; in this way your flowers can be used to perform an important mitzvah.

7. Black kippottallitot, and chapel caps and clips are provided by the congregation and are available at the entrance to the Sanctuary. If you wish, you may purchase or make special kippot which should be arranged in a basket and left with the office no later than noon on Friday. These will be displayed at the entrance to the Sanctuary. Kippot may be ordered through the Judaica Shop.

8. The Temple has two easels which are available for your use.

9. Temple Israel does not maintain a supply of linens. It does have a supply of white paper tablecloths and napkins which are regularly used for the kiddush tables at the congregational kiddush.

10. There is full handicapped access to and within the building. If you have this need, the Executive Director will provide details. Please note there are a number of marked spaces for handicapped parking as well. If a wheelchair is needed, please notify the Executive Director.

11. Decorations, flowers, helium tanks, placecards, etc. are to be carried into the Temple by your vendor's delivery people. If arrangements have been made in advance with the office, these items will be stored in a locked space starting Friday morning. All items which are in the building before Shabbat may be inflated, arranged, or placed by your vendor during Shabbat at a time agreed so as not to be a distraction during worship services.

12. You are welcome to provide special hand towels, soaps or flowers for the restrooms. Ladies room baskets are not recommended.

13. A washing station for netilat yadayim (ritual hand washing) will be set up at your request.

14. The Temple has a supply of Birkonim (cards containing the Grace After Meals.) Please speak to the Executive Director about your need for these. If you have your own imprinted with your son's or daughter's name, please make sure they are in the Temple by noon on Friday.

15. If you are hosting a kiddush, luncheon, or evening reception at the Temple, please note the varying fee levels for room rental. Rental fees and security deposit are payable on the date noted on your rental contract.

16. Many Shabbatot will have a morning and evening Bar/Bat Mitzvah simha. If both families have planned a celebration in the synagogue, some early discussion and mutual sensitivity is required. Afternoon receptions are expected to conclude no later that 4:00 p.m. except during the fall and winter months whenShabbat ends early. During those months, an afternoon event must end by 3:00 p.m. If your simha falls within the early Shabbat months, you will want to be in touch with the Executive Director to determine viability of plans BEFORE committing to them.

17. Evening receptions are expected to conclude no later than midnight or four hours after the start of dinner. Additional hours of usage may be available at an additional hourly fee. Extended use must be arranged in advance with the Executive Director.

18. Evening parties require the presence of a security person. SECURITY PERSONNEL MAY ONLY BE HIRED BY TEMPLE ISRAEL

Financial Responsibilities

Your simha is a great spiritual undertaking requiring expenditures of considerable time and energy. In the context of a family milestone, being financially up to date in Temple obligations may seem a pedestrian topic, but it is important to understand in order to avoid last minute upset.

No later than two weeks in advance of the simha, all Temple Israel members must be paid in full for the financial obligations to the synagogue including:

  • Annual Commitment 
  • Religious School Tuition & Fees 
  • Building Fund 
  • Simha Fee (in full) 
  • Miscellaneous Fees and Donations 

The privilege of using the Temple facilities applies to all members whose financial obligations to the synagogue are up to date. If you will need special financial arrangements to accomplish this, it is your responsibility to contact the Finance Team well in advance of the simha date. The Finance team's contact information is available from the Temple office.

In June prior to your simha, your monthly statement will reflect a charge, in an amount determined by the congregation at its annual budget meeting. It will be listed as "Simha Fee."

Return to the main Bar & Bat Mitzvah page.